The European Parliament’s decision not to immediately pass the new EU Copyright Directive in July was seen by many as a major setback. It was defeated by 318 to 278, a margin of 40 votes. This means the proposed legislation now moves forward to a full plenary debate and vote next Wednesday 12 September.

As the music industry faces this pivotal moment, it is worth reflecting how we got here and what we are now facing.

The creative industries as a whole have long argued that embryonic digital legislation passed in the mid 1990s is outdated and simply not fit for purpose. The legislative process is slow at the best of times. Meanwhile, the tech industry “moved fast and broke things,” incurring the wrath of creators whose livelihoods have been upended as a result.

The publication of the draft EU Copyright Directive in late 2016 was an achievement in itself. Not only did the draft legislation address copyright protection and safe harbour loopholes, it also contained provisions concerning fairness and transparency towards creators. Following further debate and lobbying, is even more of an achievement that the key elements of the draft directive remain mostly intact.

The Directive has not been without it’s critics, as is the case with any proposed legislation. Academics, libraries and dignitaries such as Sir Tim Berners-Lee have all put forth concerns. We in the music industry can acknowledge some concerns as understandable even if we believe they are unfounded.

What is not understandable are the thoroughly vile and dishonest tactics deployed during the course of this year, whose objective is to stop the legislation in its tracks at any cost. The scale of this activity reads like set pieces straight out of the Cambridge Analytica playbook.

Some in the music industry have questioned how we fight back given the vast funding involved and the sheer scale of this enterprise. But fight back we must and the actions of those we face only serve to give us greater strength.

As any Jiu-Jitsu grandmaster will tell you: use your opponents’ force against them. In this case, we should call out the deceitful actions from within the tech sector and elsewhere and those actions speak louder than any words.

  • The Financial Times reported some MEPs received death threats

  • MEPs were each bombarded with over 60,000 emails from bots

  • These emails contained identical content according to The Trichordist

  • The same blog named the domain name from which a large number of these emails originated and its link to a US Inc. entity.

  • The same tactics have been found on Twitter: multiple bot accounts promoting #SaveOurInternet and similar hashtags

  • This contrasts to real world protests that only drew a few hundred protestors combined across Europe. The bots did not show up.


These actions must also be viewed against the current backdrop where tech firms have been scrutinised for avoiding responsibility concerning:

  • Blatantly dishonest content

  • Content that incites hatred and violence

  • Little accountability in how such content is disseminated

  • Minimal transparency in how user data is abused in facilitating all this

Mark Zuckerberg and Jack Dorsey are amongst those tech executives rebuked by lawmakers on both sides of the Atlantic, for failing to take responsibility and failing to act in managing their own platforms. This is reflective of a broader failure that lies at the heart of a misguided and libertarian ideal, that somehow tech firms are exempt from laws and rules that govern the rest of the world.

The music industry and broader creative and media industries are made up of real people, filled with passion and blood pumping through their veins. They compose their own emails, speak to politicians and show up in person.

At the UK Music organized #LoveMusic busking event in London earlier today, artists, executives and even politicians turned out in support. Artists such as Brett Anderson, Ed Harcourt, Dave Rowntree, Madeleina Kay, Newton Faulkner and BASCA Chair Crispin Hunt. In addition a number of cross party British MPs who support the directive including Tom Watson, Nigel Evans and Kevin Brennan were amongst those in attendance.

One has to ask, if those opposing the EU Copyright Directive have such a compelling argument, why do they resort to such deceitful means? If we judge their actions, the arguments of those opposed to the directive hold no legitimacy and the European Parliament should vote in favour of the directive.

Andy Edwards, music manager and consultant

22 Sep 2020 | Press release

Rick Astley kicks off BBC Unsung Hero Awards 2020

Music legend Rick Astley will front single, Every One of Us, to celebrate the Unsung Hero awards for 2020. The 2019 regional winners of the Unsung Hero award, Captain Tom Moore and a host of sporting stars including Ben Stokes, Geraint...more

22 Sep 2020 | Press release

Musicians’ Union calls on Government to face the music

A third of musicians consider leaving the industry due to COVID-19 repercussions 87% face financial hardship when Government support schemes end MU calls on Government to implement 2-for-1 seat matching scheme and tailored support for individuals  A third (34%) of musicians are considering...more

21 Sep 2020 | Press release

Tom Hoare Re-Joins [PIAS] as Head of Digital

[PIAS], one of the world’s leading independent music companies, has announced the appointment of Tom Hoare as UK Head of Digital.  Tom, whose appointment is effective immediately, re-joins [PIAS] from Syco Music where he was Head of Digital. He previously held the position...more

21 Sep 2020 | Press release

Better Noise Films and the Amy Winehouse Foundation team up with Global Recovery Initiatives Foundation To Save Lives presenting SNO BABIES movie

Better Noise Music are proud to announce that the Amy Winehouse Foundation is now the official UK charity partner for the upcoming feature film from Better Noise Films, SNO BABIES. The Amy Winehouse Foundation supports young people affected by drug...more

21 Sep 2020 | Press release

Vinyl sales up 3% as record stores prepare for Drop 2 on Saturday 26th September

Record store owners across the UK are preparing for the second instalment of this year’s rescheduled Record Store Day.   ‘Drop 2’ will take place this Saturday 26 September in over 200 record stores as huge vinyl releases from artists such as...more

21 Sep 2020 | Press release

Mark Fry has been promoted to President of Warner Music Nordics

Highly regarded music industry leader Mark Fry has been promoted to President of Warner Music Nordics.  He will be based in Stockholm and report to Stu Bergen, Warner Music’s CEO, International, and Global Commercial Services.  Fry was most recently Vice...more

21 Sep 2020 | Press release

Sentric inks co-publishing deal with Prolifica

Sentric Music Group and Prolifica have announced a publishing joint venture.  Expanding on an existing relationship between the two companies, the JV sees Sentric power Prolifica’s publishing arm - including full administration and creative services - facilitating opportunities for a number...more

21 Sep 2020 | Press release

Prince staff engineer Susan Rogers to be next guest in a special National Album Day edition of “Let’s Talk About Music”

The BPI and Official Charts Company are partnering once again to host Let’s Talk About Music – the online event which discusses music and the impact it has on our lives.  The organisers are delighted to announce that the special guest...more

21 Sep 2020 | Press release

Reach Music acquires the publishing catalogue of writer/producer Young Fyre

Catalogue includes songs performed by Marc Anthony, Bad Bunny, Will Smith, Jaden Smith, Britney Spears, T-Pain and Lil Wayne  Reach Music Publishing (Reach) has acquired the publishing catalogue and worldwide administration rights of writer/producer Young Fyre (Tremaine Winfrey).  The acquisition, which covers...more

21 Sep 2020 | Press release

BIMM Institute Launch Talent Match Service For The Creative Industries

BIMM Institute have announced that they are offering a brand new service, which sources new talent for the creative industries. Talent Match – available from Monday 5 October – is a free recruitment service, which supports employers by providing immediate...more

21 Sep 2020 | Press release

RIAA Statement on the Appointment of Shira Perlmutter as U.S. Register of Copyrights

Mitch Glazier, Chairman and CEO of the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), released the following statement on the appointment of Shira Perlmutter as 14th U.S. Register of Copyrights. Perlmutter currently serves as the U.S. Patent Office’s Chief Policy Officer...more

21 Sep 2020 | Press release

Fortnite's Party Royale to host the world premiere for BTS' Dynamite choreography version music video

Never-before-seen Choreography version music video to premiere in Fortnite on September 25 Today, Epic Games announces that it has partnered with the global pop superstars BTS to premiere a new choreography version music video of the record breaking single "Dynamite" inside...more

20 Sep 2020 | Press release

TikTok statement on proposed deal

We are pleased that the proposal by TikTok, Oracle, and Walmart will resolve the security concerns of the US Administration and settle questions around TikTok's future in the US.   As part of this proposal, Oracle will become our trusted technology provider,...more

18 Sep 2020 | Press release

Absolute partners with Chris Difford for new label

First album release sees award-winning songwriters celebrate frontline workers  Musician, singer, songwriter and producer Chris Difford has partnered with Absolute Label Services to launch his own label – Songwriter’s Garden. Difford is the co-founder of British rock band Squeeze, and a Grammy...more

18 Sep 2020 | Press release

Harriet Rose joins KISS Breakfast line up for daily content hits

Following the launch of the brand-new KISS Breakfast Show with Jordan and Perri last month, KISS has today announced thatHarriet Rose will be joining the line-up as a regular contributor from Monday 21st September. As part of the KISS Breakfast team, Harriet will be bringing...more

18 Sep 2020 | Press release

Warner Music Group's Arts Music division & Warner Chappell Music enter global partnership with Skyship Entertainment for beloved children's brand Super Simple Songs

Super Simple Brand Encompasses a Family of Popular YouTube Channels Including Super Simple Songs®  Regular New Album and Song Releases Begin Today   Warner Music Group's Arts Music division and Warner Chappell Music (WCM) have entered into a worldwide partnership with Toronto-based entertainment...more

18 Sep 2020 | Press release

Thomas Coesfeld appointed Chief Financial Officer of BMG effective April 2021

  Thomas Coesfeld will join the international music company BMG as Deputy Chief Financial Officer (CFO) with effect from October 15, 2020. As of April 1, 2021, he will assume the position of CFO and member of the Executive Team, succeeding Maximilian Dressendörfer,...more

18 Sep 2020 | Press release

TikTok statement on evolving US situaton

  "We disagree with the decision from the Commerce Department, and are disappointed that it stands to block new app downloads from Sunday and ban use of the TikTok app in the US from November 12. Our community of 100 million...more

17 Sep 2020 | Press release

AIF welcomes new members and reflects on Covid response at AGM

  CEO Paul Reed praises indie festival sector for rising to coronavirus challenge.  Representatives from Boomtown Fair, Black Deer and Elderflower Fields join the AIF Board, with The Fair’s Nick Morgan named as new Vice Chair.  17 new festivals have joined trade association...more

17 Sep 2020 | Press release

Can Music Make You Sick?

  Measuring the Price of Musical Ambition  By Sally Anne Gross & George Musgrave     29th September 2020 – paperback – £14.99  This provocatively titled, ground-breaking book presents the hugely cited, largest ever study into mental health in the music industry, which reveals that music makers are three times...more

17 Sep 2020 | Press release

Scope appoints Robin Millar CBE as Chair Designate

  Disability equality charity Scope is delighted to announce Robin Millar CBE as the Chair Designate of its Trustee Board. His appointment comes as the charity delivers an open letter to the Prime Minister today, backed by 30,000 signatories, calling for...more

17 Sep 2020 | Press release

Never miss home again with Deezer's Country Selector

 Exclusive feature lets you switch your music and shows tabs to anywhere in the world   Gospel in Brazil, Grime in England, Schlager in Germany, Banda in Mexico... every country has its own signature sound. But what if your taste is different...more

17 Sep 2020 | Press release

The Scottish Album of the Year Award announce 2020's Longlist


17 Sep 2020 | Press release

Brand new Radio 1 Dance stream to launch this October

  Brand new 24 hour dance music stream Radio 1 Dance will launch on BBC Sounds on Friday 9 October 2020 at 6pm BST. Radio 1 Dance will bring together Radio 1's rich slate of existing dance programmes into a dedicated stream...more

17 Sep 2020 | Press release

Amazon Music x Twitch take-over with Scruff of the Neck

Amazon Music UK and Twitch have announced a takeover with iconic Manchester record label and live promoters Scruff of the Neck. Taking place Thursday 17th September across Amazon Music UK’s Twitch channel, the night will see performances from three rising acts...more

17 Sep 2020 | Press release

Clapham Grand announces first post lockdown shows with a special re-opening party this Friday with Frank Turner

London’s iconic venue The Clapham Grand announces first post lockdown shows for 2020 with a special re-opening party with Frank Turner this Friday. Other big names announced include: Russell Howard, Jimmy Carr, The Vivienne, Louise Redknapp, Baga Chipz, Jimmy Carr,...more

17 Sep 2020 | Press release

Beatport And Twitch Announce Exclusive Live Streaming Music Programming Partnership

BEATPORT AND TWITCH ANNOUNCE EXCLUSIVE LIVE STREAMING MUSIC PROGRAMMING PARTNERSHIP Beatport and Twitch partner to deliver a robust program of weekly exclusive content for the Beatport Official Twitch Channel, showcasing a diverse selection of artists, labels and collectives from the global...more

17 Sep 2020 | Press release

MP urges Ofcom to conduct urgent review of BBC Sounds

The Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Commercial Radio is calling on Ofcom to conduct a review of the BBC Sounds platform following plans for a new 24-hour BBC Radio 1 Dance service.  Earlier today (Thursday 17 September) the BBC...more

17 Sep 2020 | Press release

ESNS 2021; thirty-fifth edition, both physical and digital

Focus on European music during European Music Week The conference and showcase festival ESNS (Eurosonic Noorderslag) will go ahead as live as possible in 2021. Taking place in Groningen from 13 to 16 January 2021, ESNS is the key exchange...more

17 Sep 2020 | Press release

The FAC invites you to its annual general meeting on Wednesday 14 October 2020

  The Featured Artist Coalition (FAC), the UK artist trade body, is delighted to announce that its 2020 Annual General Meeting is taking place at 18:00 GMT on Wednesday 14th October 2020. This year's AGM will be hosted online, due to continuing Covid-19...more

22 Sep 2020

  • The Musicians' Union issues an urgent call to Government to do more (see News)

21 Sep 2020

  • Night Time Industries Association warns 60% of clubs will not survive another two months (see News) 

  • TikTok's proposed deal with Oracle and Walmart receives Trump's blessing (see Bigger Picture)

  • TuneIn radio blocks content in UK (see Digital)

  • Thomas Coesfeld to join BMG as Chief Financial Officer (see Business)

18 Sep 2020

  • Beatport signs exclusive livestreaming partnership with Twitch (see Digital)

  • Radio 1 Dance to launch on BBC Sounds; Commercial radio objects (see Media)

17 Sep 2020

  • Kobalt to explore potential sale (see Business)

  • Kanye West posts his contracts online, seeks masters (see News)

16 Sep 2020

  • Chinese music streaming service NetEase Cloud Music strikes deal with BMG (see International)

  • Apple confirms subscription bundles; Spotify complains (see Digital)

  • Spotify launches virtual event listings function (see Digital)

  • More trade bodies join the Fair Trade of Music Campaign (see News)

  • Small companies to receive payouts on insurance claims after closure during pandemic (see News)

15 Sep 2020

  • YouTube launches 'short-form video experience for creators and artists' (see Digital)

  • Warner Music Group facing a class-action lawsuit over a massive data breach. (see News)

  • New chapter for Motown Records with UK label launch (see Business)

  • Facebook strikes licensing deals for its Gaming platform (see Digital)

14 Sep 2020

  • TikTok announces 100m monthly active users in Europe; Oracle set for partnership (see Digital, Bigger Picture)

  • Jamie Njoku-Goodwin appointed CEO of UK Music (see Business)

  • Shani Gonzales promoted to MD of Warner Chappell Music UK (see Business)

11 Sep 2020

  • Hipgnosis Songs Fund acquires Chrissie Hynde’s catalogue (see Deals)

  • RIAA and PwC reports show mixed fortunes for recorded music and live industry during pandemic (see Analysis)

  • Cultural industries urge European Commission not to rewrite the copyright directive (see News)

10 Sep 2020

  • Hipgnosis acquires Big Deal Music (see Business)

  • BMI closes fiscal year with historic revenue and royalty distributions; takes Covid hit (see Business)

09 Sep 2020

  • Live sector executives outline issues to DCMS Committee (see News)

  • Royal Albert Hall launches urgent donations appeal (see News)

  • European Court of Justice orders EU countries to treat music creators equally regardless of their nationality (see News)